7th International Conference on Bio-Inspired Models of Network, Information, and Computing Systems

December 10–11, 2012 Lugano, Switzerland

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce that we will have four eminent scientists as keynote speakers at the conference. They will provide an exciting overview on bio-inspired methods and modeling for different domains of study and application.

  Prof. Nicola Gatti (Politecnico of Milan, Italy)   
 Crowding games: a formal method for social interaction  (10/12 - 9:30-10:30)

  Prof. Jürgen Schmidhuber (IDSIA, Lugano, Switzerland)   
 Neural Network ReNNaissance & Formal Theory of Fun  (10/12 - 14:15-15:15)

  Prof. Franco Zambonelli (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)   
 Engineering Socio-Technical Urban Superorganisms  (11/12 - 9:30-10:30)

  Prof. Anthony Weiss (University of Sydney, Australia)   
 Self-Assembly at the Molecular Scale    (11/12 - 18:15-19:15)

 

Short Bio of the Speakers and Abstracts of the Talks

 

Nicola Gatti

He is Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), where he conducts research into the theory and practice of artificial intelligence and multiagent systems, with a particular interest for game theory. He is lecturer of Informatics Systems and of Algorithmic Game Theory. He was granted the Laurea degree in Biomedical Engineering in June 2001 (Politecnico di Milano) and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering in March 2005 at Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione (Politecnico di Milano). In 2011 he was granted the 2011 AI*IA "Marco Somalvico" award for the best Italian young researcher in Artificial Intelligence.

Abstract

Social interaction is a crucial concept in sociological thinking. If the payoffs of an agent depend on the choices of the others, interactions are strategic. Game theory provides an elegant formal language to model situations of strategic interactions. A notable model is provided by crowding games in which agents compete over resources and payoffs are agent specific. During the talk, the basics of game theory and the main computational results will be introduced. Subsequently, congestion and crowding games will be presented: models, best response dynamics, computational complexity, price of anarchy and price of stability, examples of applications.


 

 

Jürgen Schmidhuber

He is Director of the Swiss Artificial Intelligence Lab IDSIA (since 1995), Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Lugano, Switzerland (since 2009), and Professor SUPSI (since 2003). From 2004-2009 he also was Extraordinarius at TUM, heading the CogBotLab. He helped to transform IDSIA into one of the world's top ten AI labs (the smallest!), according to the ranking of Business Week. His group pioneered the field of mathematically optimal universal AI and universal problem solvers. The artificial neural networks developed in his lab won numerous international competitions in computer vision and pattern recognition, as well as several best paper awards. Since 1990 he has developed a formal theory of fun and curiosity and creativity to build artificial scientists and artists. He also generalized the many-worlds theory of physics to a theory of all constructively computable universes - an algorithmic theory of everything. He has published nearly 300 peer-reviewed scientific works on topics such as machine learning, recurrent neural networks, fast deep neural nets, adaptive robotics, algorithmic information and complexity theory, digital physics, the formal theory of aesthetics & beauty & humor, and the fine arts. He is recipient of the 2013 Helmholtz Award of the International Neural Networks Society. In 2008 he was elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Abstract

The fast deep / recurrent neural networks that we developed in our Lab have many, biologically plausible, non-linear processing stages. Since 2009, our neural networks have won seven international pattern recognition competitions, and set records in many vision benchmarks, without any unsupervised pre-training. GPUs can speed up learning by a factor of up to 50, thus contributing to the ongoing second Neural Network ReNNaissance. The future, however, will belong to active systems of a type we introduced in 1990, learning to sequentially shift attention towards informative inputs, not only solving externally posed tasks, but also their own self-generated tasks designed to improve their understanding of the world according to our Formal Theory of Fun and Creativity, which requires two interacting modules: (1) an adaptive (possibly neural) predictor or compressor or model of the growing data history as the agent is interacting with its environment, and (2) a (possibly neural) reinforcement learner. The learning progress of (1) is the FUN or intrinsic reward of (2). That is, (2) is motivated to invent skills leading to interesting or surprising novel patterns that (1) does not yet know but can easily learn (until they become boring). I will discuss how this principle explains science & art & music & humor. Time permitting, I'll also briefly discuss the recent theoretically optimal universal problem solvers pioneered in our lab, such as Gödel machines and the asymptotically fastest algorithm for all well-defined problems.


 

 

Franco Zambonelli

Franco Zambonelli is full professor of Computer Science at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He got his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Bologna in 1997. His research interests include: pervasive computing, multi-agent systems, self-adaptive and self-organizing systems. He has published over 70 papers in peer-reviews journals, and has been invited speaker at many conferences and workshops. He is the co-Editor in Chief of the ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, and he is in the Editorial Board of the Elsevier Journal of Pervasive and Mobile Computing, of the BCS Computer Journal and of the Journal of Agent-Oriented Software Engineering, and he is in the Steering Committee of the IEEE SASO Conference. He has been scientific manager of the EU FP6 Project CASCADAS and is currently coordinator of the EU FP7 Project SAPERE. He is member oft he Academia Europaea, and a senior member of ACM and IEEE.

Abstract

Progresses in mobile and ubiquitous computing are paving the way for innovative services to perceive detailed information about the surrounding world and interact with it. In addition, social networks are promoting innovative models and tools to engage people in situated collaboration activities. In urban scenarios, these factors let us envision the possibility of integrating the complementary sensing, computing, and actuating capabilities of ICT devices and of humans to realize a number of innovative services. This could result in an immense number of inter-connected organisms working in an orchestrated and self-organizing way to achieve specific urban-level goals, as if they were a single organism, i.e., what in biology is usually called a “superorganism”.  In this talk, I will sketch the future vision of urban super-organisms and identify the key challenges in engineering innovative urban services that seemingly involve ICT devices and humans, and that harnessing the power of pervasive social intelligence to improve the quality and sustainability of our urban environments. In particular, I will discuss how the lessons of bio-inspired computing can be a promising starting points for the engineering of urban superorganisms, but also requires synthesizing lessons from socially-inspired computing models. I will also present my personal experience in the context of the SAPERE ("Self-aware Pervasive Service Ecosystems") European project, and will sketch directions for future research.


 

Anthony Weiss

Professor Tony Weiss is the world-leader in human tropoelastin and synthetic elastin biomaterials. Elastin is the body’s natural elastic material. He is Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Sydney, with concurrent Professor appointments at the Bosch Institute, Charles Perkins Centre, and Cardiology Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He founded the venture-capital backed biotech company Elastagen Pty Ltd which is based on his international patents. His awards include Fulbright Scholar, Roslyn Flora Goulston Prize, NIH Fogarty International Fellow, Thomas and Ethel Mary Ewing Scholar, Australian Academy of Science and Royal Society Exchange Scholar, David Syme Research Medal, Amersham Pharmacia Biotechnology Medal, NSW Commercialization Expo Prize, Australian Innovation Challenge Award, Sir Zelman Cowen Exchange Fellow, Fondation des Treilles Scholar and Pauling Prize Medal. He was recent national chair of the ARC-BSB College of Experts and is on the Editorial Boards of Biomacromolecules, Biomaterials, Biomedical Materials and BioNanoScience. His research is well funded through concurrent national and international competitive research grants including ARC, NHMRC and USA NIH and enjoys the contributions of a fine team of competitively placed postdocs, postgraduate students and technical staff.

Abstract

Elastin facilitates the reversible deformation of elastic tissues and can withstand decades of repetitive forces. Elastin is made by massively assembling molecules of tropoelastin. Tropoelastin has a defined 3D shape that exquisitely balances multiple roles, including tissue elasticity, organized assembly and cell interactions. We found that the tropoelastin's extensional elasticity can be utilized to expand undifferentiated cells, including progenitors and mouse hemopoietic stem cells. Mechanotransduction is through an elastic circuitry that extends continuously from the extracellular tropoelastin to deep inside the cell, involving elastic communication from the tropoelastin extracellular environment through to the nucleus. We identified distinct regions of the molecule that are responsible for elasticity, cell binding and assembly. In a series of recent papers we decoded the shape, defined the function of specific regions and are learning nature’s language of molecular population assembly. Nature facilitates the coordinated interaction of nanometer-sized components to construct large, durable human elastic tissues. 

Baldock, C., Oberhauser, A.F., Lammie, D., Siegler, V., Mithieux, S.M., Tu, Y., Chow, J.Y.H., Suleman, F., Malfois, M., Rogers, S., Guo, L., Irving, T.C., Wess, T.J. and Weiss, A.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2011, 108, 4322.

Bilek, M.M., Dax, D.V., Kondyurin, A., Yin, Y., Nosworthy, N., Fisher, K., Waterhouse, A., Weiss, A.S., dos Remedios, C. and McKenzie, D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011, 108, 14405.

Holst, J., Watson, S., Lord, M., Eamegdool, S.S., Bax, D.V., Nivison-Smith, L.B., Kondyurin, A., Ma, L., Oberhauser, A.F., Weiss, A.S. and Rasko, J.E.J. Nature Biotech., 2010, 28, 1123.

Yeo, G. Baldock, C., Tuukkanen, A., Roessle, M., Dyksterhuis, L.B., Wise, S.G., Matthews, J., Mithieux, S.M. and Weiss, A.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2012, 109, 2878.

Baldock, C., Oberhauser, A.F., Lammie, D., Siegler, V., Mithieux, S.M., Tu, Y., Chow, J.Y.H., Suleman, F., Malfois, M., Rogers, S., Guo, L., Irving, T.C., Wess, T.J. and Weiss, A.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2011, 108, 4322.

Bilek, M.M., Dax, D.V., Kondyurin, A., Yin, Y., Nosworthy, N., Fisher, K., Waterhouse, A., Weiss, A.S., dos Remedios, C. and McKenzie, D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011, 108, 14405.

Holst, J., Watson, S., Lord, M., Eamegdool, S.S., Bax, D.V., Nivison-Smith, L.B., Kondyurin, A., Ma, L., Oberhauser, A.F., Weiss, A.S. and Rasko, J.E.J. Nature Biotech., 2010, 28, 1123.

Yeo, G. Baldock, C., Tuukkanen, A., Roessle, M., Dyksterhuis, L.B., Wise, S.G., Matthews, J., Mithieux, S.M. and Weiss, A.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2012, 109, 2878.